Mancherial: The season of delicious and yummy custard apples has arrived with vendors beginning to sell this subtropical fruit belonging to the Annonaceae family. One can find several roadside points for buying these natural products. According to dieticians, the nutrients and minerals found in the fruit is beneficial for healthy life.
Popularly known as Seethaphal, custard apples is one of the seasonal fruits and is a favourite fruit for many. It is a rich source of vitamin A, C anti-oxidants that helps to combat several diseases and enhances immune system. It is available between October and December months. The luscious fruit grows on a small deciduous tree and is known by different names worldwide. In Telangana, the trees can be spotted in forest fringes, rocky terrains and hillocks.
Usually, members of Banjara or Lambada community make a living by selling these fruits ripening in their houses. They travel miles for gathering the apples, braving cold and other challenges. G Raghu, a vendor of Mancherial, says that he has been selling Seethaphal since 15 years by importing them from neighbouring districts. He stated that a bag containing of 65 unripen fruits was priced at Rs 250. “Denizens started buying the apples from the past few days, considering health benefits and nutritional values,” he added.
Ushashree A, nutritionist at Care Hospital, Hyderabad, says that custard apple is rich in potassium, magnesium and contains vitamin A, calcium, copper, fibre and phosphorous. Its high calorific value provides sustained energy. “It is delicious in nature and does not harm our health and no hazardous chemicals are used for ripening it,” she adds.
By eating custard apple, many diseases and disorders can be prevented. Consumption of the seasonal fruit is good for heart, skin, and bone, and maintains blood pressure. Custard apple is also helpful in curing of boils, ulcers and gum related problems. The leaves of this fruit work against cancer and bark can be used in case of toothache and gum pain
One of the important advantages of eating custard apple is for a healthy heart. It is beneficial for pregnant women, it improves our eye vision, can cure arthritis, protects against anemia and help fighting fatigue. Parts of the fruit and tree can be used as medicines.